On 31 December 2019, millions of people welcomed in the brand new decade with fireworks. However, do you really know the cost of these bright, celebratory displays to our environment?
On 18 March, my article on last week’s climate change strikes went live on Rev. Rebecca Writes.
Both Rebecca and I have a passion for animals and the world we share with them, and it seems that thousands of others also share our enthusiasm in working to protect and conserve our planet for future generations. More than 2,000 protests took place around the world, stretching from North America to Asia. This landmark global movement was inspired by a 16-year-old’s passion and determination to take a stand and make her government listen.
I caught the end of a BBC documentary yesterday called Natural World and from what I could gather, it was about a man in Australia working to help orphaned kangaroos. Brolga, otherwise known as Chris Barns, first established a kangaroo rescue centre for joeys in Alice Springs in 2005. He rescues and cares for orphaned baby kangaroos by becoming their mum and letting them live in safety on the sanctuary, which he opened in 2011, with other rescued marsupials.
Every year on the 8 March, females are celebrated for their brilliance and amazing achievements, and the issue of inequality and bias is brought to the forefront.
This International Women’s Day I want to raise awareness of the strong, powerful and overall amazing females of the animal kingdom.
Despite being better known as the ‘King of the Jungle’, it’s actually the female African lions who lead the prides. They spend their whole lives in the area they were born in giving them the advantage of knowing where all the best hunting grounds and watering holes are. They are also pretty good at defending their cubs against aggressive adult males (who commonly seek to kill cubs belonging to other males to ensure the survival of their own offspring), hunting and protecting their territory.
On 31 May, London Zoo announced that they’d recently had a surprise arrival at the zoo. Meet Poco – the tiny tamandua.
Poco was born to proud parents Ria and Tobi (who only moved to the zoo last October as a hopeful companion). Keepers welcomed the newborn’s arrival, which took place just five months after the pair of tamanduas had been introduced. The cute Easter arrival clung to Ria’s fur but now, at two months old, Poco is beginning to venture away to explore the Rainforest Life home.
Tamanduas are nocturnal creatures, native to South America. Part of the anteater family, these mammals are impressive climbers and have tongues that can grow up to 40cm long. This species has very small eyes and poor vision, so relies on its hearing and strong sense of smell.
This pint-sized diva, known for her fierce fascinators, certainly packed an unforgettable punch during her season. A sweetheart from the moment she entered the werk room, this queen became the first to win two challenges! Here’s Ongina…
I was routing for Ongina from the get go. Here enters this petite, feathered, high fashion queen telling all the other competitors how fabulous they were. As the introductions get under way, Ongina explains how she got her drag name – “my middle name is ong and god didn’t bless me with a certain ina.” She never failed to let her personality and quick-witted humour shine through on the main stage, whether it be through vogueing across the runway or during her interview with Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, in which they described the experience as “chit chatting with a girlfriend”. Ongina also came out with one of my favourite words of the season – “maneltoe”. During the second episode, Girl Groups, Ongina admitted that she’d forgotten to wear underwear so needed to make sure that she tucked extremely well to avoid maneltoe (the male version of camel toe).
Ongina really showed what she was made of during the MAC Viva Glam challenge. During her commercial recording, and before admitting that she was HIV+, she said “I went for the route of celebrating life and making sure that you always think positively no matter what life throws at you. You have to appreciate what life has to offer. I mean, it’s a really big deal but you can’t let that be a downer in your life.” However, it was during her lipsync in the following episode that it was clear how incredible Ongina was. After the pair had performed, Ru was seen to excuse herself momentarily (in what I think is the only time she has done so), saying “this decision is too difficult. I need a moment alone.” Upon her return, Ru was seen holding her glabella (the bit in-between your eyebrows above the bridge of your nose) clearly unsure of who should sashay away. As Ru said “though this breaks my heart to say…” I was screaming at my iPad “well, don’t say it RuPaul!” but sadly those were the days before Ru kept both contestants.
We may all know Ongina as a fierce lip-sync performer, but she actually has a full-time career as a visual merchandiser… well, Ryan does anyway. In one of her many revealing interviews, she admitted that she recently bought a barn which has 400 animals on it (although I can’t determine whether she’s joking or not). Making all her headpieces and fascinators, Ongina says “It really depends on what song I’m performing and what look I’m trying to pull together, but I make them… the one’s you see on the show, I’ve made”.
I can’t deny that I had hoped to see Ongina appear on All Stars 2 as I feel that she should have (at the very least) made the final two, alongside Nina Flowers. In an interview a few years back, Ongina admitted that she would have loved to have popped out a box in a subsequent season. “I would’ve liked to come back for a different season to re-compete to show I am capable of doing more.” Here’s hoping we’ll see her gorgeous, smiley face in All Stars 3 in a couple of years time!
#273: If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Easy… Borneo or Rwanda to live with a family of Orang-utans or Gorillas. It didn’t specify that it had to be a human family! I’ve always dreamed of seeing these fascinating primates in the wild, so this would be ideal.
I read today’s blog post a couple of hours ago and still can’t think of what to write. I’m sure I’m jealous of the same things many others are… people who have proper paying jobs, being able to afford to live independently (even in a flat share – I’m not fussy!), having the motivation to stick to regular gym sessions etc etc. But then I thought, everyone’s life has its positives too – I’ve got a loving family and a bed to sleep in at night.
So instead, since I haven’t done this in a while, it’s time to rebel! I’m going to share five fascinating facts about animals that have adapted to suit their environment…
– Camels have the ability to drink up to 145 litres in one go!
– As everyone knows, owls have an excellent range of motion for their heads. But, supposedly, this is because their eyes are too big to move from side to side or up and down!
– Most vultures have bald heads so that eating dead animals is less messy!
– A scorpion can’t sting itself; it’s immune to its own venom!
– Hippos don’t sweat but instead secretive a red fluid from their skin that keeps the animals moist and shields the suns rays!
Facts courtesy of National Geographic Kids’ 5,000 Awesome Facts [About Everything!]
#78: Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?
The main reason I don’t have animals at the moment is because I couldn’t give it the love and attention it needed right now (and just to clarify, I’m referring to cuddly animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits… not something like a goldfish or tortoise!). I work long hours so would only see it in the evening for around 4 or so hours before going to bed and then for an hour in the morning, so it wouldn’t be fair to have the animal caged up for the rest of the time.
#49: Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.
1. I have an unhealthy relationship with being organised. I can’t stand bad planning so I will always make sure that if I have any say or control in something, I will ensure that everything has been thought of and meticulously planned.
2. My love for reading and writing. If I’m not found writing my blog posts, you’ll find me reading. Whether it be a book, an email or various news stories – I’m forever learning through reading!
3. The world really is my oyster. Working for a kids magazine, I’ve been able to gain experience in being the Editorial Assistant, Marketing Assistant, Events Manager and the Manager of NG Kids Alive all at once! I hadn’t quite realised just how good I am at multi-tasking, so it’s certainly given me a confidence boost and shown me that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything.
4. My thirst for knowledge. I always want to learn more about everything. As an example, on the weekend that’s just gone, I was managing the company’s stand at The Telegraph’s Outdoor Travel and Adventure Show at the ExCeL in London and Nick Spellman the AnimalMan joined us. I was forever asking him about his animals as I just wanted to know as much as I possibly could.
5. My slight obsession with watching The Big Bang Theory. I couldn’t write six things without including this one! I’ll happily watch seasons 1-6 back to back as they’re always so funny no matter how many times I’ve seen them. Plus they’re only 25 or so minutes long, so can be playing in the background so to speak whilst completing other tasks.
6. Finally, I guess an outsider would comment on my close knit family. I know it’s not exactly unique, exciting or odd but I’ve always known how lucky I was to have a close and supportive family.